Avalon LTI Tool

Avalon as an LTI tool in a Learning Management System

Configuring Avalon as an LTI tool in an LMS provides for course-specific access and customized content LMS. To access course items, a user can log into their LMS, click on an external tool link, and be redirected to a special Avalon context that only shows items authorized for the course. As part of the redirect, Avalon gathers course and user information verified by OAuth. Using the course ID, Avalon customizes the landing page for the user to only show items listed for that course.

After using the LTI tool, a user will still be logged in under that context when using the same Avalon instance in the same browser. If this occurs, please log out and back in under your normal user account to restore access.

Set up Process

Add the LMS as an authentication provider

The authentication settings for LTI are added to config/authentication.yml with the other authentication providers. A new parameter called "hidden" was added to keep the LTI provider from showing up at the log in screen. Here is an example LTI authentication config block: 

- :name: Avalon LTI Oauth :provider: :lti :hidden: true :params: :oauth_credentials: key: 'secret'

Configure hash keys

There are more lti configuration options in config/lti.yml, which tells avalon where to look for user, class and lms information in the hash received from the LMS. These are the default values that are hard-coded into our version of the gem omniauth-lti. You'll only need to add the lti.yml if any of these values are different for your LMS.  You might want to follow this recipe for choosing values to avoid confusion in the interface.

--- <tool_consumer_instance_guid>: :uid: :user_id :email: :lis_person_contact_email_primary :context_id: :context_id :context_name: :context_label

LMS/CMS Specific Setup Instructions

The next step is to go into your LMS or CMS and create a link to the Avalon LTI.


To add an external tool to a course, go to site setup on the sidebar then check off the box for one of the external tools. We already named one "Avalon".

Adding external tool to sidebar

It will then show up in the side bar.


Click on it and select the edit button in the upper left hand corner. We used the following settings (replacing <avalon ip address> with your url):

External Tool Configuration

Check the boxes to release the name and email address to the external tool. If these aren't checked, students logging in the first time through sakai will receive an error message.


Contact the Avalon team for more information.


Canvas allows for the specification of global as well as course-specific LTI providers. From either the Global or the Course Settings, click Apps, then View App Center to reveal the Add New App button.

Clicking that button reveals the LTI app configuration panel.

The parameters are similar to those entered for Sakai or Blackboard.